Welcome to the Aushorse Investor’s Guide for 2023.
We believe there is no better place to race a horse than in Australia. Ours is a country that embraces racing: with one in every 254 people involved in racehorse ownership; where our prizemoney is booming; where we breed world class horses; and where owners can enjoy a unique experience at the track in some of the world’s greatest races.
Let us help you get involved,
Prizemoney in Australia offers owners the opportunity for a stunning return. In 2023 there will be 89 races worth A$1 million or greater – that’s the equivalent of one race every four days.
And this prizemoney continues to soar: eight years ago, there were just 28 races worth A$1 million or greater. This number in Australia has grown to 89 in 2023.
In the 2021/22 racing season one in every 57 horses that competed on Australian racecourses had career earnings of more than A$500,000.
Horses had career earnings of $500K+
However, it is not just at the elite level that prizemoney has increased: in the last decade returns to owners have grown 92% across Australia. This gives all owners a chance to recoup their costs, even if their horses are racing at a moderate level.
This is reflected in average race values where Australia is a leader, despite having a very large racing circuit in regional and remote areas.
Average prizemoney per race 2021/22 season
On top of the prizemoney paid by racing authorities, there are significant bonus schemes that reward owners. These include state breeding schemes that offer a total of A$46 million in additional prizemoney as well as lucrative race series run by the two major sales companies, Inglis and Magic Millions. Taken together, such schemes add another A$67.5 million to owner returns.
It is not just in prizemoney that Australia leads the world. When it comes to action on the track, Australia hosts more elite races than any other jurisdiction according to the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).
In 2022, Australia hosted 20 of the world’s highest rated Group Ones – meaning that for the third year running, Australia had more races ranked in the top 100 than any other country. In fact, in the past eight years, we’ve topped that list six times.
Number of World’s Highest Rated Group One Races 2020 – 2022
The quality of these Group One races is built on the strength of the local breeding industry. Of course, we are best known for our sprinters, with an Australian-bred being crowned world champion sprinter 15 times in the last 19 years.
That run continued in 2022 with Nature Strip taking the honours after his demolition of a strong field in Royal Ascot’s King’s Stand Stakes.
And if you look at the races that are considered Australia’s breed-shapers – the Golden Slipper, Blue Diamond, Caulfield Guineas, Golden Rose and Coolmore Stud Stakes – they have all been won by locally bred horses for the past 15 years.
But sprinters aren’t the only champions we produce with regularity. The wonder-mare Winx spent a significant time as the world’s highest rated horse as she strung together a stunning 33-race winning streak.
More recently, fellow Cox Plate winner Anamoe is rated among the world’s middle-distance elite after becoming Godolphin’s all-time leading Group One winner, with seven top level successes.
While in Hong Kong, Golden Sixty has dominated racing for the past two years and beaten all international challengers.
Despite the riches on offer and the quality of our bloodstock, it is more affordable to invest in the Australian market than other major racing jurisdictions.
Over the past five years, buyers who sought a leading prospect from yearling sales would have had to pay less here than in either America or Europe.
Five year average price for top 50 colts
Five year average price for top 50 fillies
With most major breeders in Australia offering their stock for sale, buyers also get the opportunity to access the best families in the stud book. This is reflected in the number of Group One winners that were available to buy as yearlings.
Percentage of group one winners in the past three seasons offered for sale as yearlings
If you look at the Australian’s leading sires from last season, almost all were locally bred, raised, and offered for sale.
|1||I Am Invincible||AUS||$62,500|
|2||So You Think||NZ||$110,000|
|5||Not A Single Doubt||AUS||$210,000|
|9||All Too Hard||AUS||$1,025,000|
For owners lucky enough to have a colt that is considered a stallion prospect, there will be no shortage of potential buyers. And this competition has seen many colts sell at valuations in excess of A$25 million in recent years.
Those buying fillies to race can also be assured there is a strong market for the best broodmare prospects. In the past three years, 22 Group One winning fillies or mares were sold off the track at auction for an average of A$1,871,364.
In 2022, some 31 Group winners traded hands publicly for a total of A$27.39 million at an average price of A$883,550.
There is also incredible demand for Australian horses that have shown ability on the track from Asian markets, principally Hong Kong.
In the last racing season, 266 horses were exported to Hong Kong, and while the vast majority of those sales were privately negotiated, a great many of them would have been for seven figure sums. There were also another 175 horses bought for export to race in Singapore and Macau.
Buying racehorses is never just a financial decision, based on dollars and cents. The experience is everything and we’re confident that even if you’re based in another hemisphere, you will enjoy racing horses in Australia.
Our trainers lead the world in communication and are well practiced in making owners feel part of the horses’ journey. And they have had plenty of practice: the rise of syndicated ownership means there are more than 105,000 individual owners in Australia.
Australians owns at least a share in a racehorse
That means Australia has more owners than America, the UK, Ireland, France, Japan and Hong Kong combined, despite a population of less than 26 million.
This embrace of racing stretches far beyond ownership: pick up a newspaper in Australia and you’ll see great coverage of the sport, plus the race cards, every day of the week; turn on a TV and the sport is broadcast on free to air; go to a pub or bar and you’ll likely be able to have a bet while having a drink; and, most importantly, the stars of the show – whether Winx or Black Caviar, through to Gai Waterhouse or Chris Waller – are household names.
Australians also wager more on horse racing per capita than any other nation, which is the source of our great prizemoney.
Our governments are incredibly supportive, with each state even having a minister with a racing portfolio. This ensures a strong funding model and that there is support for the industry through challenges such as COVID-19.
Put simply, we believe the experience of racing a horse in Australia, combined with the ability to access the best of our world-class bloodstock and enjoy the financial returns offered here, means there is no better place to be involved in horse racing.
This is reflected in our ever-growing number of international owners. Industry leaders, key players and organisations that have significant interests in other countries, are increasingly entering the Australian market.
Each year the best bloodlines available in Australia are offered across 18 major thoroughbred sales organised and run by Inglis and Magic Millions.
Surrounding yourself with industry experts is an important role. You can tap into decades of experience through the Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) who can provide personalised advice and purchase on your behalf at the sales and in private.
Between the different arms that make up the Australian thoroughbred industry, you'll have assistance wherever you turn. Should you require any further information or impartial advice, the team at Aushorse are happy to help.